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Getting a LIM

A Land Information Memorandum (LIM) report is a summary of information that the council holds on a property. 

A LIM can alert you to any significant issues and help you decide whether to buy the property or not, or whether you should adjust the price you are willing to pay for it.

 A LIM can have quite a lot of information, or not much – it depends on how much the council has had to do with the property.

A LIM can help you confirm that any alterations to a building have been consented and signed off (code compliance certificate has been issued).  LIMs also highlight any recorded problems with the land, e.g. flooding or erosion hazards.

A LIM will include:

  • Special land features or characteristics (including potential erosion, slippage or subsidence), flooding of any type and possible contamination or hazardous substances
  • Information on private and public storm-water and sewerage drains
  • Rates information including any rates owing
  • Any consents, notices, orders or requisitions affecting the land or buildings
  • District Plan classifications that relate to the land or buildings
  • Special conditions including NZ Historic Places Trust listings
  • Network utility in relation to the Building Act 1991 or 2004.
  • Any other information the Council deems relevant such as compliance certificates
  • Licences

Auckland Council’s standard LIM service costs $275 (incl GST). An urgent LIM costs $380 (incl GST).

By law Council has to provide the information within 10 days of the request (and payment).

What is the difference between a LIM and a property file?

A LIM is a summary of information that is held on a property, whereas a property file will hold additional, detailed information that is not included in a LIM report, such as:

Building and resource consent documentation

Correspondence about the property.

What council has on file depends on what has been done on the property since the original building was constructed, and relevance to the property, e.g. licence and registration information.

How to get a LIM

The process for applying for a LIM depends on where the property is located, but you may have the option to order a LIM online or in person.

Find out more here: Auckland Council

It is a good idea to look over the LIM with your lawyer as they have experience with LIMs and can help you understand the full implications of anything the LIM reveals.

There are limits to what a LIM will tell you.  It will not cover aspects the council doesn’t know about such as unpermitted work or the condition of the property.  Older properties may have incomplete records.

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Getting a Building Inspection

When buying a home it pays to know about its condition, beyond what the LIM tells you. You don’t want to find yourself faced with large repair bills for work you didn’t discover until after you move in.

This is where a pre-purchase building inspection comes in.

A pre-purchase building inspection is an inspection of a property that looks for significant defects, maintenance issues, signs of deterioration or inferior work. An inspection will tell you if there are any signs that the property is a leaky building, for example.

Identifying building issues before making a purchase means that you can choose to pull out or modify your offer. You could include in the sale and purchase agreement that certain issues are resolved before settlement.

When getting a building inspection, ask for a pre-purchase inspection so the inspector includes relevant areas in the report.

A building inspection is a visual examination of the building covering only those things that can be reasonably accessed and viewed. This includes the condition of the building framing, the roof, chimneys, foundations, exterior walls, heating systems, windows and doors, insulation, interior flooring, ceilings etc. They may also check driveways, sheds and garages, retaining walls, verandas and balconies etc.

They may also do non-invasive moisture testing.

An inspector will not do invasive testing such as the removal of wall linings to check for insulation or leak problems. They may recommend further inspection by qualified tradespeople such as Plumbers or Electricians if there is visual evidence of non-compliance or other issues. While they will report evidence of pest damage, unless specified it won’t include checks for pests beyond that which can be detected visually.

Depending on who you use, a building inspection report may include estimates on resolving any areas of concern.

The cost of a building inspection will depend on the size, if there are any additional structures such as garages, where it is located and its age etc

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